About the Amherst Career Network

The Amherst Career Network connects you, the student, with alumni/ae who are eager and willing to share their experiences and expertise. They can provide very specific information on particular careers and career paths and/or offer general career advice. The type of guidance will vary with each individual: for example, some will offer informational interviews, others might offer a shadowing opportunity. While internships and specific job opportunities may arise naturally from your encounters, the career network is NOT intended as a job search tool. In addition to the instructional presentation below, please view the Career Center's Networking and Relationship Building Online Workshop.

Networking basics

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Identifying alumni who may be of assistance

  1. You can identify alumni/ae by searching on any of the fields available. Examples include industry, geographic location, special affiliation or Amherst activities.
  2. You might choose to select a contact by a particular type of guidance like shadowing or general career advice.
  3. Start with a broad search and narrow down your list as needed.
  4. Don't select more alums to contact than you can keep track of.

How to contact a member of the Amherst Career Network

  1. Respect the individual and his or her time and commitment to the program.
  2. Acknowledging her or his generosity is key to a successful encounter.
  3. Introduce yourself and the reason for making contact and seeking advice.
  4. Be clear about your needs. Remember the members of the network are alumni/ae representing a wide variety of fields and are not career counselors.

Following up after making a connection

  1. Always write a Thank-You note.
  2. Stay in touch if appropriate and keep your contact apprised of your progress.
  3. Fulfill any promises made: e.g., sending a résumé or other materials.
  4. Keep track of your contacts and conversations in a log so that you can remember who you spoke to about what.

Need more help? Refer any questions or concerns to the Amherst College Career Center at 413-542-2265 or careers@amherst.edu.